Strong winds lead to more Antarctic ice

By on September 26, 2013

The Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica (Credit: NASA)

Researchers at the University of Washington say that stronger polar winds have led to an increase in Antarctic sea ice, according to a release from the school. They have reported an upward trend in the ice over the past few decades.

Using computer models, they were able to simulate the growth of ice considering different wind patterns. The model with realistic wind data showed an increase of about 1 percent each year from 1979 to 2010, while the other using a constant wind measure showed an ice increase amounting to only 20 percent of the real total.

Still unknown is why the winds have gotten stronger. Many scientists say it could be related to global warming, the loss of ozone in the Southern Hemisphere or the inherent variability of Mother Nature.

Image: The Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica (Credit: NASA)

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